Students are at the center of hands-on learning at NDSU. These are just a few examples from current students’ experiences.
Entrepreneurship at NDSU is ‘shaping where I want to go’
NDSU is a place where students can pursue their passions and make their ideas a reality.
“NDSU has an atmosphere where a student can be a voice for something that they think is important. That’s definitely been my experience,” said Timothy Straus, a senior manufacturing engineering major from West Fargo, North Dakota. “Anyone who is passionate about something can find a venue for rallying people around that idea here.”
Straus’ academic adviser encouraged him to pursue his passion for innovation early in his college career. That advice helped him connect with NDSU students who share the same interests and become a Stanford University Innovation Fellow. Stanford fellows push innovation and work as change agents to enhance their university.
These experiences set him up to be part of a winning team in NDSU’s Innovation Challenge. Straus helped transform the NDSU library’s 3D printing lab into a Digital Fabrication Lab. The space now offers the use of a variety of 3D printers, CNC mills and hand tools. It’s open to all students.
“We had some resources for students on campus, but there wasn’t a space where students could come together to collaborate, innovate and then create prototypes of the big ideas they have,” Straus said.
Straus is now working to develop another makerspace in the NDSU Research and Technology Park. And he’s working part time with Emerging Prairie to implement a similar space for their Grand Farm initiative that uses technology and innovation to improve the future of farming. The end goal is to create a fully autonomous farm by the year 2025.
“I don’t think I would be in the role that I am without my experience with NDSU’s clubs, the Innovation Challenge and makerspace development,” he said. “It’s really shaping where I want to go.”
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